Yes, the 2018 iPad Pro has aged well

I’m inclined to agree with much of this. The 2018 model came into my group of hardware and started running circles around my other devices, particularly my third generation Core i5s.

Right now the only good reason I see to upgrade are support for secondary displays and perhaps thunderbolt. Features I desire in my tablet but that aren’t worth the price of a new iPad when everything else is dandy.

Well, if you discount that the base 64GB of storage is getting less roomer, the battery is aging, and I’m sometimes tempted by the idea of an cellular capable iPad. Those are all interesting points, but still sufficient for the time being 😛

For the most part I’ve met iOS updates with the mindset, “I’ll just be happy if it’s stable”. Because when iPadOS 13 landed the features were much needed but the stability was crapola on my then young iPad Pro. Recent releases have thankfully been less hazardous and iPadOS 14 would become pretty stable for me.

Upgrading to iPadOS 15 thus far has passed the stability requirement. Plus for the first time it feels like new features have landed in a polished form. Running multiple applications using split screen, slide over, and the would probably confuse non nerdy users multiple instances thing, now work really damn well. iPadOS 15’s the best implementation of such things I’ve had since Samsung started to screw over theirs in favor of Googly multitasking and focusing on DeX.

So while I honestly could have cared less about the multitasking features earlier on, beyond slide over being a common offender in my iPadOS 13 instability, iPadOS 15 actually makes me view the fancy split screening stuff as a feature I can use.

Opinion: The M1 iPad Pro needs iPadOS 15, not macOS

While I typically roll my eyes at many posts regarding fruity things, I find this one more sane.

As a weirdo who actually prefers a Tablet First life style for my non terminal, non video game computing needs, I don’t have a lot of problems with how iPadOS 14 has evolved. So much as I wanted to puke at how iOS 12 was 😝.

Personally, I don’t really care about macOS. In the era of OS X, I used to consider the UNIX underpinnings a reason to choose it over XP if I ever had to choose between an NT or Mac based corporate machine. Basically, I don’t give much of a flying fuck about Macs outside of the POSIX programming environment that overlaps with BSD and Linux based systems.

Being the kind of weirdo who used to dock an Android tablet to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to do actual work, my main beef with iPadOS today is that it can’t do what I used to. The limitations on background connections make it impractical for me to use my iPad Pro like a terminal. The lack of software like Docker Desktop and XCode, just make the iPad ineffective for local development. So SSH apps being forcefully disconnected by the OS after a short time in the background, means iOS is a poor terminal if you’re switching apps.

For more general use cases are kind of meh. If your GUI software doesn’t work well on my tablet, I’m probably not going to have a big opinion of it on my laptop  either. Software design has come a bit of a long way from just slap a 1990s style menu bar around it. A prime example of sorts: AquaMail worked superbly on my Android tablets and Chromebooks, so much that I wished for a PC version of the app. Something closer to Gmail or Apple Mail or Windows 10 Mail or Thunderbird or Claws, yadda, yadda — just don’t care.

I suppose there is the perk that most of my harsher software demands tend to take a command line centric view. Many of the pieces of software I really do care about fit into the unix history of command line tools from a Bourne style shell session. Not a bunch of clicky all over the place GUIs; I’ll care more about GUIs when I need to use my fat puddgy fingers to interact with a screen or when a keyboard is a combat ineffective way of interacting with a problem. For example, I wouldn’t want a command line version of GIMP, but I don’t need a GUI version of vi either. I’m weird :P.

Command, Control, and Optionally conquer the Alternatives

In some ways it may be a touch ironic. For years, I used an Android tablet docked to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard as a workstation; quite happily in fact. Puttering around with iPadOS my only real beef versus doing the same with Android is the keys.

Having spent most of my life around PC based systems, I’m naturally used to the shortcuts on a PC. Such as using control plus left and right to move the cursor a word at a time. On iPad these are more like home/end keys because you use option + left and right to move the cursor a word at a time.

Further complicating the fact is that some familiar shortcuts are control + thing while others are command + thing. For example command + W to close a tab but the familiar control + tab to change tabs. Basically pay back for having owned many a PC but never a Mac, lol.

In terms of keyboard and mouse support the only difference today is that iPadOS sports the same type of mouse based text selection as a PC or Mac. Android and the initial version of iPadOS had simply used it like a finger substitute, and more kludgy in iPadOS’s case. Aside from that I haven’t really had much difference in experience.

One of the notable distinctions as a user however is the software.

Modern iPadOS sports a version of Safari that is as good as Chrome or Edge on my PCs. My Androids on the other hand, being relegated to Chrome was always a bitter existence even if the stability leveled off with the years — and often keyboard/mouse operation in Chrome made my eyes roll out of their fucking sockets at the silly. So let’s just say at web browsers, iPad’s Safari beats Chrome for Android.

For most users I’d call that a win. Most people I know have a heavy slant towards web apps, and thus their connection to the rise of Chrome. In some cases, clutching Firefox like a gunnut and their AR-15s. So the result is Safari doesn’t piss me off, but I’m still one to prefer an app over a browser if you do any kind of decent job at it.

By contrast iPadOS sucks as a terminal client. Networking limitations basically murder any chance of being able to use SSH and multitasking; spend too long away and the connection will be force killed. By contrast in Android land the only real issue with SSH clients I tended to have was the poor copy/paste experiences. Stuff like VNC equally suck on both, but is less multitask friendly on iPad.

For me that’s kind of a negative. 90% of my interest in PCs revolve around command line environment or 3D graphics environments. But given my shift back to laptops for the heavy lifting that’s not been to terrible.

That’s to say, my move from a Chromebook to a Latitude had more to do with Celeron vs Core i5 than it did at using Android apps for terminal work. Likewise, my move from Android tablet to Android apps on a Chromebook was basically generated by Samsung omitted video output on my last tablet.

Here’s why everyone should own a cheap Android tablet

An interesting if unusual line of reasoning for a site full of nerds and shifting attention spans.
Tablets are often more natural to repurpose than other computing devices. Phones are often too damned small or the only size you need. Laptops are often too damned big, or all you really want is the keyboard input. Tablets strike an excellent size between being so compact you can Velcro it to the wall, and being large enough to prevent and interact with globs of data like videos and web pages.
Kitchens, bathrooms, garages, craft rooms, head boards, often have space as a premium. If not at first then eventually, lol. If money grew on trees instead of being made from trees and tears, I’d probably have a dedicated tablet just for scribbling notes.
One of the open questions I’ve had since my Tab S3 -> iPad Pro conversion is what do I want to do with Scarlett. The cracked screen works fine most of the time, but I’d largely prefer to avoid putting it in a position where fluids and cleaning are regular needs. The old HDX7 has principally become a clock now that it’s long form reading duties have migrated to a conventional Kindle.
Currently it resides near the charger cluster of /dev/headboard. Which has shown promising possibilities as an electronic picture frame or clock in either room. Mounting it on a kitchen wall or the side of my refrigerator would readily solve the problem that I’ll need to update my grocery list for something, but don’t have the time to leave my kitchen to go get a phone or tablet. There’s also the perk that the S-Pen still works pretty well as long as you don’t rest your hand too heavily on the screen, or need fine lines near the cracked part.

The new 2020 iPad isn’t enough for Zoom school

Pretty sure that every time I’ve seen a review of the new iPad pop up there’s been three consistent complaints from reviewers:

  1. Same old design 
  2. 32 GB storage 
  3. Single user.
Personally, I think the complaints are overrated.
On the hardware front: I’d say if it isn’t broken, why replace it? The physical design is no less awesome or crappy than it was years ago. Just now you’ve got sexier models available for twice the price tag!
On my iPad Pro there is usually thirty some gigs of storage usage. At the same time it usually recommends I let it deep six a dozen or so gigs of stuff. Considering the base iPad costs a lot less, and offers even more storage (still for less) as an option: that’s pretty swell for the cheapest iPads.
The place where I nod my head in agreement however is USB-C. I’m hoping that as SoCs trickle down the fruit company eventually goes USB-C all the way. Even if it lead to a Pencil that just replaced the charging connector: I’d call it a win.
For the most part I think iOS has deserved it’s criticism over the years. Slow, terribly slow evolutionary pace but pretty good results. I personally care much more when it comes to the tablet front since my tablet vs phone usage is something like 90% vs 10%, lol.
At this point it’s fair to call iPadOS a multitasking OS. Both in the technical sense, and the user capabilities. Just not as ironed out as what you’ve been doing on your PC since the late ‘80s, lol.
What I find intriguing is the rice of reviewers moaning about iPadOS being a single user operating system.
That iPads are expensive is a given. That outfitting an entire family with Apple products is comically expensive is only avoidable by not doing it. But we still live in a world where sharing computers isn’t as typical as it once was.
Once upon a time: computers were so crazy expensive that time sharing was a key. There were reasons you ran a bunch of terminals to tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, and PCs costing several grand were a joke.
Today your wrist watch probably has more computing power than the old time sharing systems. Yet most people tend to operate as either one PC per person or with a device in a shared location. Ya know the whole P in Personal Computer?
Multiple user accounts on tablets are kind of attractive from the idea of leaving a tablet in community areas with no specific user. But do you really want to pay that much for a dedicated coffee table or kitchen ‘puter?
Tablets like phones tend to be pretty personal, single user devices. Much like DOS PCs of old the reason to share tends to be purpose deployed rather than intent designed.
Plus if you’ve been bitching and moaning that Android tablets are shit and never get updates for so many years, you probably shouldn’t complain about how many years before the cheapest iPads and your old hand me downs are good enough for your kids 😅.
Real people tend to be more pragmatic than nitpicking reviewers and tech blogs. And yes, sometimes you should consider price a driving factor.

 Surface Duo postures: Every bend and fold you need to know

For some years, I’ve thought it would probably be awesome sauce if you took two tablets and put them in a book like case side by side, and made some kind of software pipe between them for opening apps and sharing via intents.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo definitely represents something much more complete and natural. And sadly just as expensive, or more. But it’s an actual product you can sell your left nut or right tit for. So there is that 🤣.

I would love to see more devices like this. Both in the Duo’s size that can bridge between a phone and a tablet, and something closer to a tablet than a phone.

 If you really want to know anything about the reMarkable 2: I’d suggest watching this guy’s videos.

I kinda wish that more people spent such time on reviews, but I suppose that’s a bit excessive. Fro the reMarkable it makes more sense: being a device less typical and more specialized than your average consumer’s taste in electronics.